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Pollen misses June payroll

Events start-up Pollen missed a payroll in June, according news site Sifted. 

In April, the travel and entertainment technology company had announced that it had raised $150m (£118m/€140m) in Series C funding. However, in May Pollen laid off over 150 employees. 

Now, reports have surfaced over missed salary payments for both US and UK-based employees. 

Staff were supposed to receive their salary payments on June 30, but six days later, management told US-based staff via messaging application Slack their their salary would now be transferred. Staff based in the UK received their salary on July 1. 

Sifted has seen and reported on the message, and co-founder and chief executive Callum Negus-Fancey, said: “I wanted to share an update on everything that’s going on. We are closing a transaction with a large, well-known entertainment company. 

“There is a lot of complexity and delicacy with the transaction and they will become our biggest investor and shareholder. Partly because of the market environment but also because of our existing shareholders and the terms that are important to them as part or any deal, they have invested a lot of money into the company and protecting their interests appropriately is important to them. 

“I will be able to share a lot more towards the end of next week about who our new partner is going to be. I am working hard to finalise negotiations with our shareholders as fast as possible and get them to wire funds. I am really sorry about the inconvenience and anxiety this situation has caused all of you.” 

He added: “I have expressed this to my shareholders but ultimately their priority remains ensuring their position is protected and maximising their own return. I am now at the point that everything is agreed with them and our new partner and so our shareholders are now happy to fund.

“We will make sure we get this to you as fast as possible and really recognise how difficult pay being even a couple of days late can be. This is a very a-typical situation as we end one chapter with our current key shareholder after many years and start a new chapter with a new, very exiting and value additive one. I assure you this will never happen again and apologise again that you have been impacted by this negotiation, I did all I could to avoid that being the case.” 

The report also details late payments for those that were laid off in May. 

In a statement to Sifted, Pollen said that the missed payroll was an “isolated, one-off event” and that “the company has a supportive and well-funded shareholder base”.

Pollen was founded in 2014 and curates and delivers experiences, and has created experiences for artists such as Justin Bieber, J Balvin and Duran Duran. It was founded by two brothers, Callum and Liam Negus-Fancey.

Image: Burst on Unsplash